By Josh Saunders
A mum who battled anorexia for 17 years has celebrated her incredible transformation from being five stone and ‘so skinny she could snap’ to gym bunny.
Holly Griffiths from Greenwich, London, was eight-years-old when she first stopped eating and for nearly two-decades her life was plagued by the horrific eating disorder.
The mum of two’s wake-up call came last year after realising she could had to ‘start recovering or die’ after her weight fell to a skeletal five stone (72lb).
She was prescribed anti-depressants, sought out private therapy to fight body dysmorphia and every two weeks she ate pizza and posted photos of her achievement.
Since then, Holly has passed eight stone by working out at the gym to gain muscles and eating a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet for the first time in nearly two decades.
Now she’s posted amazing videos to show her transformation and is training to become a counsellor.
Holly, 25, said: “I realised you can’t live forever with an eating disorder, starving yourself and purging when you eat will lead to a heart attack or a stroke.
“If I wasn’t going to recover the only other option for me was death, I either had to stop and turn things around or carry on and die.
“I realised no one was going to help me, if I wanted to get through my eating disorder enough I had to be rational enough to do it myself.
“Body dysmorphia had blinded me to the point where I looked like I was about to die, I looked horrific, I can’t believe I could even stand up back then.
“Now when I look at my body I can see I’m stronger, my skin is healthier where before it was yellowish-grey, I don’t have bones sticking out at weird angles and I no longer have spots.
“I used to be upset by my thighs most of all, I thought they were fat, horrific and I’d cry seeing them, now I don’t think my quads are big enough.
“The difference now is that I’m not happy because I want to be stronger and more flexible, I don’t cry when I look in the mirror anymore, I’m proud of my body and what I’ve achieved.”
Holly, who formally diagnosed with anorexia at 13-years-old, was fuelled by dangerous pro-anorexia communities online.
Holly said: “I don’t know what led to it, it’s difficult to understand my rationale at eight-years-old but I stopped eating for reasons I can’t explain despite countless therapy sessions.
“Eventually through the eyes of my body dysmorphia thin became chubby and those who were very sick became a ‘bit thin’.
“My illness had me at the point where I was lying down and was convinced I could see my thighs touching so had to take a picture to prove it wasn’t true.”
During her struggles, she battled to get back to a healthy weight but suffered a mental breakdown at 17-years-old.
She says during her darkest days cruel comments from strangers made things worse.
Holly said: “I was told to eat a burger more times than I can count, that it looked like I was going to snap because I was so thin and other things but I was so immersed I couldn’t see it.
“I used to get so angry about it because I couldn’t see what I really looked like and how very unwell I was, it’s only relatively recently that I’ve been able to see reality now and I won’t go back.”
Holly’s wake-up call came last year after being denied access to free NHS treatment because she was continuously relapsing and losing weight.
She started eating one pizza every 10 days and celebrating it with pictures before introducing more food groups to her diet.
She was also given antidepressants and paid for a private therapist, which helped her to re-evaluate her mindset.
Holly said: “I ate half a low-calorie pizza from Pizza Express, I thought I really like that so I will commit to eating this same pizza at least once a fortnight.
“I would take a photo while doing it to celebrate my achievement.
“I never thought it was possible to be where I am now, I thought I would always be destined to live in that grey area where I was still restricting my diet.
“I threw out all of my skinny clothes too, which was a big deal for me as I used to keep them all ready for my relapse, now I see this as part of the bigger picture.
“If something doesn’t fit now it doesn’t upset or freak me out, I’m proud of my body and proud of the fact that it got to almost breaking point and I’m strong now.”